Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of Pluto. Clyde Tombaugh was examining pictures taken through the telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona in January, 1930, over a period of days. One of the “stars” in the image moved while the stars remained in place, revealing the frozen world for the first time.
Settling into the northwest as evening descends, the Queen of the heavens, Cassiopeia, remains well placed for viewing, about one third of the way above the horizon. Her W-shaped pattern of 5 stars pivots around the North Star, and each spring looks more and more like the celestial throne she sits upon.
The Vernal or Spring Equinox marks the calendar arrival of Spring late this afternoon at 5:24 PM EDT, when the Sun is positioned directly above the Earth’s equator. Although the word equinox means “equal night”, the atmosphere bends the sun’s light, shifting it slightly higher, adding several minutes to the daylight.